After staging the fifth successful NAMILCO Football Classic tournament last year, local milling giant, NAMILCO and Fruta Conquerors Football Club have once again collaborated to stage this year’s sixth edition dubbed the NAMILCO One Love Football Classic Tournament.
During the launching of the tournament at the company’s boardroom in McDoom yesterday, it was disclosed that 16 teams including last year’s winner, Guyana Defence Force (GDF), will compete for bragging rights, the winner’s trophy and the first prize of $1.2M when the knockout tournament kicks off on February 3 at the Fruta Conquerors Football Club ground in Tucville.
The first, second and third placed teams will receive $600,000 and a trophy, $400,000 and a trophy and $200,000 and a trophy respectively.
There will be eight playing days and the final will be staged on February 24 at a venue which is still uncertain.
At the launching, President of the Fruta Conquerors Football Club, Wayne Forde thanked NAMILCO for its sixth year of sponsorship which will total $4.5M. Forde also gave an overview and spoke briefly about the competition.
“I wish to first and foremost express my sincerest gratitude to the management of the National Milling Company for once again collaborating with Fruta Conquerors Football Club to host the sixth edition of the NAMILCO Football Tournament appropriately dubbed “The NAMILCO One Love Classic,” said Forde.
“Over the past five years NAMILCO has faithfully committed time, thought and enormous resources to a sport that has the potential to single handedly transform the lives of many individuals and their communities,” he added.
Citing the saga between the Guyana Football Federation (GFF) and the Georgetown Football Association (GFA) that ended earlier this month with FIFA’s intervention, Forde said:“This year’s tournament, the NAMILCO One Love Classic, gives us all an opportunity to emphatically say with a common voice that those days are behind us. We have learnt and we have grown and we are ready to give the National Milling Company, our loyal fans and the nation a tournament that transcends the true spirit of the beautiful sport of football.”
Forde also highlighted that teams from four sub associations namely the GFA, the Upper Demerara Football Association, the East Coast Football Association and the Berbice Football Association and one from the governing body the GFF are scheduled to compete for top honours.
In brief remarks, Managing Director Bert Sukhai and Fitzroy McLeod, Finance Controller of NAMILCO both committed to sponsoring the tournament in years ahead and mentioned that they expect a high level of competition as well as discipline throughout the duration of the competition.
McLeod also stated that the gates receipts will be ploughed back into the community of Tucville.
Brief remarks were also made by acting president of the GFF, Franklin Wilson and Vice President of the GFA, Rawle Adams.
Also present at the launching were Marketing Consultant of NAMILCO, Afeeze Khan and secretary of Fruta Conquerors Football Club, Daniel Thomas, who gave the vote of thanks to the company on behalf of his club.
The other teams scheduled to compete in the tournament besides GDF are Buxton United, winners of the 23rd Kashif and Shanghai Football Tournament, Camptown, winners of the second Banks/GFA Tournament, host Fruta Conquerors, Alpha United, Beacon, Pele, Santos FC, Northern Rangers, Guyana Police Force (GPF), Georgetown Football Club (GFC), Western Tigers, Netrockers, New Amsterdam United, Seawall United and Riddim Squad.
The eight playing days are February 3rd, 8th, 10th, 13th, 15th, 17th, 20th and 24th.
Fixtures of the tournament will be published in a subsequent article.